Two weeks ago, after a last minute snafu, we closed on our house in New Jersey. In order to accomodate the buyer’s attorney, which was the name of that game, we had to drive to Cherry Hill. Jim drove the RV with four dogs and I took his Explorer, filled to the brim with breakables, spinning wheels, and a flat screen TV, wrapped in my hard found comforter, $700 at Macy’s, $27.50 at TJ Maxx. You know I bought it at the latter.
We managed to get there with time to spare and everyone else was an hour late. Finally, in the dark, in the rain, we were free. We left Cherry Hill at 6 PM, Jim in the lead. I knew as we cruised down route 70, passing 73, that Jim’s new GPS was going to take us through Philadelphia, on a Friday evening, during rush hour. I couldn’t get him to take me to Philly at any time of day or night, so getting to see it one last time was a thrill, in spite of the traffic from hell.
Because of the rain, the tops of the tall buildings that line the Vine Street Expressway were bathed in fog, and the eerily beautiful light that radiated from the fog made me smile. Crossing the Schuylkill to get onto 76, I got to see The Philadelphia Museum of Art and Boat House Row, lit up and reflecting upon the dirty river. Although I know that many visits to my daughter in the future may make it possible for me to see the city again sometime, there was a melancholy feeling about the final trip. I will probably never live there again.
As a matter of fact, I have decided that I am going to die in this house because I am not moving again. I had forgotten how physically exhausting a move can be. But it is the disorientation, the confusion, that is really getting to me. It must be my age, but half the time I don’t know what state of the union I am in, who lives where, or how long it will take to get wherever it is I am headed, if in fact I can figure out where I need to go. I still get excited at seeing all the Michigan license plates. Why are there so many Michigan plates? I asked Jim just yesterday. Oh, ah, yeah, right. Gulp.
My state of mind is also a little frightening. I have never been so calm in my life. The O-Zone is an appropriate description of where I am mentally. I don’t feel any anxiety, urgency, or need to rush. In spite of this new found peace, I am getting things done. My sister tells me that most people don’t have their houses organized in five days, which is pretty much what I did. This could be because I made the decision to only bring furniture into the house. The boxes stayed in the garage and I unpacked them out there, making a nice pile for the Good Will, again, while doing it. Somethings came to Michigan because I couldn’t part with them there. Here, they are all wrong. Good bye!
We are also slowly meeting our neighbors. Most of them are Chicago transplants, but one guy is from our old neighborhood in Philly. We will have a lot to talk about.
I have been shopping in the little town south of here, a farm town, very much like the towns that border the ocean as you drive to Cape May. We are a curiosity, for sure. The first time I went into the hardware store, the lady working there knew who I was. They also know a lot of our business….something tells me we aren’t in Kansas anymore, Toto. I couldn’t tell you the names of my neighbors in NJ, but here, they have all come to the door and introduced themselves. We are thinking we should get new plates for the car sooner than later…. blend in a little better that way.
My sister and her family came to see me last weekend and it was pretty fabulous. I was sorry my kids weren’t there. Maybe someday..
I found a new stylist, too and have an appointment tomorrow night. This should be interesting.
Every morning I get up and look out the window at our beautiful view and pinch myself. We are really here. Hopefully, it will sink in soon. I am growing to love my house, as well. The spacious living room has an alcove that accommodates my book collection. For the first time, most of my books are in one place. There is no TV in this room and it is comfortable and well lit. Perfect for reading. The kitchen has turned out to be heaven sent. The view to the ravine beckons one to linger with coffee long after a meal is over. On Saturday when my sister Liz came with her family, all of us, including my teenaged niece sat for hours talking, looking out over that vista. It was a dream come true. My husband and I have spent the past 12 years eating every meal in front of the TV because my gigantic kitchen was cold and dark. There is something to be said for a smaller room.
Being this close to my mother is also wonderful. I am enjoying a new, kinder relationship with her. I think I expected too much of my mother and was harsh and critical of her for years. Thank God I can make it up to her now in our dotage. As she said on my 59th birthday, Sue, you are almost as old as I am.
The only negative, and it could have a positive side to be revealed at another time, is our internet service. It stinks. We were supposed to have high-speed internet here, but when all was said and done, the signal is nonexistent. Getting email is torture. But what is worse is that my husband does need it for his job! Get real here, we haven’t won lotto yet. So we are awaiting the arrival of an antenna and a tower that should make things better. In the meantime, I will try to open Facebook, Ravelry and my email when I have some time to spare. I usually run and do some work while it is trying to load. Also, trying to download pictures from my camera is a joke, so forget that until we get the antenna.
So until then, bye for now!